The cream of the crop in housing association finance were recognised at a sector awards ceremony yesterday (Thursday 6 July 2017).
Hundreds of people from England and Wales turned out for the annual awards that mark the contribution made by housing association finance teams.
Social Housing was proud to be media partner again at the awards, and to sponsor the ’best newcomer’ category, which was won by Claire Jennings, of Futures Housing Group.
Waqar Ahmed, group finance director at L&Q, won FD of the year in the larger organisation category. Mr Ahmed also took home the ‘overall winner’ award, which he won jointly with Trafford Housing Trust – with whom L&Q also happens to have a jont venture partnership.
Trafford also won the treasury team of the year award in the smaller organisation category.
Mr Ahmed said: ‘It’s always an honour to achieve recognition and the HANA awards are now recognised well in our sector. This is testimony to the excellent work done week in week out by the brilliant team I have in finance. I am lucky to be part of a great department in a great company.’
FD of the year among small to medium associations was awarded to Lish Harris, of Pickering and Ferens Homes.
Treasury team of the year for larger organisations went to Places for People.
Finance team of the year went to Family Mosaic in the larger group category, while Salix Homes and Southway Housing Trust jointly won finance team of the year in the small to medium association category.
Peter Cleland – a consultant and interim finance director who has often been appointed to help associations after they have run into financial difficulty but who is now based in the US – was given a lifetime contribution award.
The afternoon event, held at the Radisson Blu hotel in central London, was hosted by Mark Watson.
David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation (NHF), kicked off the event by praising the work of finance teams across the sector, pointing out that organisations depend on their ‘financial capability and muscle to do the fantastic things that [they] do every day’.
He said: ‘If you don’t get the finances right, nothing would be right.’
James Prestwich, head of policy at the NHF, said: ‘The landscape for housing associations remains challenging with organisations continuing to react to the 1 per cent rent cut, planning for the impact of Brexit and now working tirelessly on the national response to the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower.
‘The HANA Awards is the moment in housing for us all to recognise the work finance teams do to ensure their organisations, which are pillars of so many communities across the country, are working effectively and efficiently to have the greatest impact possible for their customers.’
Full list of winners at Hana Awards 2017:
Trafford Housing Trust
Waqar Ahmed, Group Finance Director, L&Q
Finance Team of the Year - small-medium organisation
Southway Housing Trust
Finance Team of the Year - large organisation
Best Risk Management
Claire Jennings, Finance Investment Assistant, Futures Housing Group
Efficiency and Value for Money
Best External Professional Advisor
Anthony Collins Solicitors
Finance Director of the Year - small-medium organisation
Lish Harris, Director of Business Services, Pickering and Ferens Homes
Finance Director of the Year - large organisation
Waqar Ahmed, Finance Director, L&Q
Best Financial Communications
Treasury Team of the Year - small-medium organisation
Trafford Housing Trust
Treasury Team of the Year - large organisation
Places for People
Best Innovation in Financial Technology/Software